Thursday, November 15, 2012

Taco Time

I recently changed jobs, so my perimeter of interest has shifted to another part of town, which means when I venture out for a bite to eat, like I did today, I may or may not know where I'm going. I didn't get lost, exactly, but I did go for a nice little drive out in the sunshine, which was not at all unpleasant.

I ended up at Taco Time, which is one of my favorite quick places to eat, and placed my order at the talking speaker around the corner from the drive-up window. I didn't think anything of the voice asking me questions. It sounded like a young tenor voice. I assumed it was a younger guy.

But when I reached the window the gaydar went off in my ears like a siren. This was either a very effeminate young man or a thin and angular female with short hair, and upon first glance it was hard to tell. All I knew for sure was that it was engaging and attractive, and so I chose the latter. Having made that choice, I could now study her more intently, and I was pleased to see that she may have also been studying me, which is never a bad realization when you like what you're seeing. Although this was a not a look I had ever felt attracted to before, which only goes to show that it isn't "types" that attract us exactly, but souls.

As she handed me my bag, I almost hoped that she had deposited her number inside, but it would have probably been signed with a name like "Alex," or something, and I'd never be able to tell if it was male or female. :-\  Dang, I should have snapped a pic (because that would have been so subtle), then I could have asked for opinions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

dark side

I don’t know who wrote the song “Dark Side” that Kelly Clarkson sings, but those lyrics go hand in hand with my blog.
Kelly Clarkson's Dark Side

There's a place that I know
it's not pretty there and few have ever gone
if I show it to you now, will it make you run away?

Or will you stay?
even if it hurts,
even if I try to push you out
will you return?
and remind me who I really am
please remind me who I really am

Everybody's got a dark side
do you love me?
can you love mine?
nobody's a picture perfect
but we're worth it
you know that we're worth it
will you love me?
even with my dark side?

Like a diamond from black dust
it's hard to know what can become if you give up
so don't give up on me
please remind me who I really am.

I know a lot of people must feel this way, but I can really relate with these lyrics. Everybody wants to be accepted for whatever they are, whether that seems good or bad. I echo that sentiment to my family and friends: Please don’t give up on me. Please remind me who I really am.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I am feminist!

I really loved this article by LDS scholar Valerie Hudson Cassler. She has a way of explaining her point very clearly and logically. It's a bit long, but so worth getting through.

My favorite part:

"...the LDS alone among all Christian religions assert that not only did Eve not sin, but she was rewarded for her courage and wisdom, and God was assuring her that, just as she fulfilled her role in the Great Plan of Happiness, Adam would step up to the plate, and he would perform his role in the Great Plan of Happiness, and that would entitle him to rule with her. This is absolutely revolutionary and astounding doctrine among all the Christianities!"

I love when someone smart turns on a fresh lightbulb to illuminate a dark corner of doctrine, and gives me something interesting to think about, and to be proud of.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

for the record

It’s time to renew my temple recommend. I have an appointment with my bishop this Sunday and I’m a tad nervous about it. Not because I’m afraid I won’t “pass” but because this is my first one-on-one with this particular bishop, and bishops are always curious about adult members who have never married. What kinds of questions is he going to ask me?

My last bishop (who I liked very much, and still do), took the opportunity to ask if I was interested in getting married. I don’t blame him for the question. He was aware of the situation with MJ. I don’t remember if the interview was before or after he knew about our close friendship, but I’m sure people in general are curious. There are probably people in my ward who would like to ask me questions. I don’t date. I don’t bring boyfriends to church.

Just because a person plays the part, attends church, goes to the temple, lives the gospel, doesn’t necessarily mean they are actively pursuing the family that God has in mind. But, for the record, and maybe also to remind myself, I am interested in that eternal-type family. I don’t want to marry anywhere except in a House of the Lord. I’m very sure that the right guy will come along—someone who I will be attracted to, that I can bond with emotionally, who will be my best friend, who I can trust with my innermost thoughts and feelings. And if he doesn’t show up in this life, he better be waiting for me in the next one.

I am no longer interested in actually bearing children. I’m not past the time where I can, but I’m not a youngster anymore, and the thought of being up all night with an infant is just exhausting. But I did very much want to be a mother, so it’s a good thing I got to live with my sister and help raise her children. Heaven knows she’s had plenty and doesn’t mind sharing the responsibility. I’m very grateful I’ve had so many nieces and nephews and friends’ children and primary classes to interact with, because I don’t feel like I’ve missed out. I’m happy being the favorite aunt and the adult that kids like to hang out with.

Of course I’m writing this at a good time, because catch me at another time and Rachel will speak up and tell you that all I want in that moment is a really good snog with a cute girl and consequences be damned. But she won’t tell the bishop that.
Thanks to for the beautiful temple image.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Benji versus Josh

If you're a fan of the television show So You Think You Can Dance, you may or may not have heard about or seen Benji Schwimmer's Mormon Stories interview a while back. It was recommended to me by a friend, so I watched it. It's lengthy but not at all boring. Not being a fan, I could have skipped all of the trivia about the dance show, but it was interesting to hear his story, and to listen to him explain his motives. I found it fascinating, even if I could not have done what he did. But I understand why he did it, and I think he did the right thing for himself. Listening to him made me want to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. He did everything right. He studied the scriptures, spent lots of time in prayer, served an honorable mission, had righteous desires to marry a girl and have a family, plus he’s kind and he's honest about his feelings, and in the end, he got his answer. Of course I think my answer is different. But it didn’t make him any less of a good example to me.

And then, because my Heavenly Father knows me and knows the desires of my heart, it was not at all coincidental that I somehow stumbled across a blog post on Facebook that you've probably seen going around, written by Josh Weed and his wife on their blog The Weed. I loved it. I love this quote:

“I feel the desire to be more open regarding this part of my identity. I have found that sharing this part of me allows my relationships with others to be more authentic. It has deepened my friendships and enhanced my interactions, and it has also helped me to feel more accepted by others as it allows others the opportunity to choose to accept me for who I really am.”

I’m fascinated by this, and yet I don’t know that I can do it. People who know about me are either not currently members of the church, don’t live anywhere near me, or are my family. Is it really necessary to divulge such information to your neighborhood and ward friends?

Another thing that I’ve always wondered about, which Josh's post reminded me of, is if I did marry a man, could I make the physical thing work? I am attracted to some guys. If I married a guy, I would hope that I would be attracted to him physically. Josh gave me some hope when he wrote: “Here is the basic reality that I actually think many people could use a lesson in: sex is about more than just visual attraction and lust and it is about more than just passion and infatuation. I won’t get into the boring details of the research here, but basically when sex is done right, at its deepest level it is about intimacy.”

And I crave intimacy. If I can manage it with a guy, and trust him enough to allow myself to go there, we could be happy. I believe that the atonement helps in situations like these, because this guy is not attracted to women, yet he married a woman and they are happy together. And his blog seems honest and genuine—not like he’s trying to convince his readers that they’re happy, but like he’s trying to share the secrets of being able to be happy. “You can’t fake this kind of happy.” And there are others that have somehow made it work. I think the Lord helps them.

It totally gives me hope that I don’t have to let go of the gospel to experience love and intimacy in the way the Lord wants me to. I can keep all of those things I want in the most profound depths of my heart: my membership in the church, my privilege of attending the temple, a temple marriage and sealing, but most importantly, happiness and peace, not guilt and justification.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Last weekend our stake had a relief society meeting where the stake president spoke. I love these meetings. The people-watching is fabulous and it’s an opportunity to connect with old friends from my former ward and also a chance to make new friends. I can’t have too many friends.

In his talk, Stake President quoted Mosiah 18:9 in the Book of Mormon, where Alma, inviting the people he’s teaching to be baptized, explains a little about the covenant they will make. “Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.”

I have heard and read this scripture many times, but this time it made me consider my own baptismal covenant, that I have made and renewed again and again. It made me ask myself, do I mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort? And I have to say, yes—although I am not the most compassionate person I could be, I can offer a kind word to someone who needs it, and never turn away someone who truly needs my help. But then, do I stand as a witness of God all the time? I have to admit that I don’t. It makes me feel a little guilty.

So I have this new friend in the ward named A—. She’s also a writer, and although she seems much more serious about getting published than I am, she has a husband and four children that dominate her time, so she’s working slowly on her writing project. I admire her persistence in the effort. I guess that I write fiction mostly to entertain myself, because the stuff I write I certainly wouldn’t want to share with my church friends. A— has pressed me a little. She seems curious about my writing. But I have a perfectly clean and heterosexual romance posted on Goodreads for all to see, and despite knowing about it, she hasn’t even read that. So do I take her interest seriously? I have pressed her about her writing too, and she actually emailed me her first two chapters, which were really short, but at least I read it.

I’d like to get to know her better. I don’t have a crush. I like her because she’s kind. She shows interest in me. She’s quirky and interesting. And she’s warm and compassionate.

During the meeting referred to above, as I was listening to the speaker I started to feel sleepy, so I leaned forward, resting my elbows on my knees. A— was sitting next to me and she reached over and began scratching my back. It was totally unexpected, but I can’t even describe how good it felt. I know she didn’t mean anything by it, so I can’t even read anything into it. It just felt so good to be touched in an affectionate way. Sure, I get affection from my nieces and nephews all the time, but I know don’t know—it just felt nice.

A— is one of those people I could talk to. She may be one of those people I could explain things to—like why I write what I write and why I won’t share it with her.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Rachel is now on Pinterest, collecting pretty pictures. If you'd like to find her, she's under quandaryuncensored at gmail.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


One of the things I can look forward to on a quarterly basis is the arrival of the Athleta catalog to my mailbox. Athleta is a Gap company and sells women’s activewear, and their catalog features some very nice-looking models with perfectly fit bodies. So when the catalog arrives, the first thing I do is look through it once just to study the models.
How does she do that?

(She's my favorite.)

Then I look through it again to check out the clothes. I feel just a little guilty, never buying anything, but the clothes are very expensive, and I don’t really consider myself an athlete with any special need for yoga and running clothing. But I sure don’t mind shopping for them.
Power to the She!